It’s the magic number 11-1-11, and I’m reading a magical story published on 1-1-11, A Lazy Resolution That Will Change Your Love Life while surfing CollegeCandy.
Looking back at my last 3 years being single, I’ve learned a lot about love, though I may say that you can never know too much about love. If you do, what’s the point of dating in the first place?
I’m also one of those who never make resolution lists every new year. To me, the fireworks symbolizes bursts of new hopes and dreams to look forward to, and hidden beneath those bright lights is a silent reminder that your time living in the here and now is limited. So there’s no point in making a list of changes – might as well do the math in my head and prioritize the most important things to change. Indeed, I do feel better knowing that only 12% of people who make resolutions actually follow through those big life changes.
What do you want?
With relation to the article, let’s head to the love department. The weather’s looking pretty grim. It’s true that I never asked for what I wanted or even have the slightest idea of what I wanted, although I never really have that negative self-talk in my head that I’m “done and done.” Looking back, being single has been, in general, a huge benefit for changing my narrow perspective on dating, love, and relationships.
My attitude about it is simple: Commitment. I think this has always worked for me in the past when I was in my boy-dependent years, when I my parents didn’t actually allow me to go on dates and I went behind their back. Really, I was at a ripe age of 16-18 – what are the odds of having a successful long-term commitment when your hormones are raging all over the place? Although, it was easier to have guys who really want to commit, knowing that I’m brought up by a strict household and considerably overprotected.
But after those years as I grew up, it’s really not that easy to stumble upon guys who actually ask you out for the purest reasons to commit to you: It’s why you make them laugh, why you made them cry, and how you make him feel like he wants to be a better man.
In the next 3 consecutive years transforming into a whole new person, I welcomed new characteristics into myself, like being nitpicky, insensitive and all, and the transformation has broadened my naive views on so many levels. Psychologically speaking, I think that for whatever reasons I’ve built a wall subconsciously in my head, and successfully kept my distance away from every new people in my life, perhaps to prevent myself from getting hurt. It’s like a defense mechanism, though as I’m pondering on my lazy couch right now and looking back at my younger years of dating, I think that this attitude is completely unrealistic. I mean, how can you expect a guy to commit when you’re just getting to know each other? Now that I’m officially given the “freedom” from my parents, I behaved just the opposite way.
So here are my current views on those dating myths mentioned in the article:
I don’t believe that all good guys are taken.
I don’t believe that all guys are douche bags.
I don’t believe that any sane guy does not want to commit at some point in their lives.
And I don’t believe that they only one that one thing. (What are they, animal?)
I don’t believe, I don’t believe. As Kira mentioned, we are our own self-fulfilling prophecy. In short, I don’t believe in absolutes. There is nothing in this world as absolute as 100% that things can or cannot happen. On the flip side, I can never let go of my belief that there’s 100% chance of sharing the kind of love I’d like to have, because I had experienced it before, and that chance can only happen on a certain set of conditions, taking all the crap out from the big picture. My self-defense mechanism being one.
When I was 16-18, I’ve witnessed my best friend dating many guys I know I would never want to go out with. Knowing what you don’t want is always easier to know what it is that you want. I was foolish – just because I’ve never dated before, I had great luck meeting a great guy with great attributes who gives love abundantly enough to commit: a rare occurrence. I had my butterflies in my stomach, though I didn’t wait long enough to make sure whether it’s the kind of butterfly big enough for you to reciprocate; strong enough you can commit for a really long time, or was it just a fluttering butterfly you second-placed on your life’s priority list. And I thought, then came a chance, so if it’s not now, then when would I get another chance?
Fast forward to a guy who came later. Wasn’t living up to my taste in terms of character, but definitely an eye candy to feed my ideal. I’ve never really thought of good looks as a good attribute, but after some time of being single (i.e. a time for self-improvement), I learned that physical attributes actually signifies good health. You know, good looks and good genes. However, I was still rooted firmly on my commitment grounds, and I could never picture myself with the guy building a lasting future. But at that time, I was quite aware of these defects that I have, that I only want to commit if the guy is willing to commit for the long run. So I hushed that little voice away, ignoring them completely and denied myself against my basic belief system: I gave the guy a chance, even though I know that it’s bound to end at some point.
Of course good looks pay a price, with the abundant supply of testosterone. That was the first time I ended a relationship with not much of a good reason, which doesn’t have to happen if I listened to my instincts in the first place. In which case, I wasn’t hurt or anything, but the whole experience of going against my will became a foundation for my super strong defense mechanism that I have all around my wall.
Singlehood meant reality. After some time of life-reassessment sans boys, I realized how important it is to survive life independently without someone to have and to hold. Of course as you get better in life, you know better what you really want. Though marriage still holds a strong place in my girlish dreams, somehow training yourself to become the independent woman that you are makes you ask yourself: Do you need a guy?
On a side note, there’s been a trend of feminism since Hilary Clinton was voted as a candidate in the 2008 presidential campaign, and women in power has just been growing during Obama’s presidency, along with thriving womentrepreneurs and mom-bloggers making money at home and the like.
Nevertheless, the phrase-word “guy-dependent” is no longer in my dictionary. I learned a lot about what I don’t want, but what I truly want is looking like a faraway land unheard of – ambiguous, mysterious. Of course singlehood gets you all the choices the world can give you, but that’s how I became viciously picky. As you learn to improve yourself and broaden your horizons, eventually you climb up the social ladder, meet new people of all kinds, and you get to see how well these new personalities suit yourself. Once you’ve climbed up many social circles, you’ll realized that the ladder is neverending.
As I get pickier and pickier, with rejections one after the other, lying to myself that I can handle life and all, putting up a strong face 24/7 up ’til this day, that’s when it hit me: It’s not a matter of need - it all goes back to what you want.
From ilovestrawberries via Flickr.
Writing down your thoughts is the surefire way of being honest with yourself. When I looked up the word “pick” on Dictionary.com, this is what it says:
–verb (used with object)1. to choose or select from among a group: to pick a contestant from the audience.
Choice. The verb there is choosing. When life is hard enough, these are the choices: To depend or not? The reality is that sometimes, a girl’s gotta have a shoulder to cry on, a fact that I’ve kept as a self-denial for these years.
Breaking my defensive wall is my first step, and I know it’s going to be so damn hard. Deep down, my oestrogen still foolishly believes that there’s a 100% chance the kind of love I’d love to have is somewhere out there, though not something too testosteroney.
To depend, or stay independent? After spending some time getting cozy on my couch, pondering these mushy aspect of my life, and clearing all the crap in my head, I think that these opposing verbs can co-exist. And it shall be my dating makeover challenge.